1 Peter 2:13-17

 

Our founding fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence that true governments derive their power from the “Consent of the Governed.”  An elected government-not an appointed elite-was the vision of our founding fathers.  The democratic process provides for a government chosen by the people themselves-but only if the people choose.  Freedom hangs in the balance.

 

1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14  or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15  For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16  Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17  Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

 

God says to submit to our authorities – One way to submit to is be part of the democratic process of electing leaders.  Make plans to vote on Tuesday.

 

What if no one voted? We have the privilege to vote but most people in the world do not have a voice. T5heir government will not allow them to vote.

Remember the ink stained fingers of the Iraqis in 2005 when they got to vote in a free election?

 

News report January 31, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq –  For the first time in more than 50 years, Iraqis cast ballots in democratic elections.

As estimated 8 million people — 60 percent of eligible voters — braved violence. A string of homicide bombings and mortar volleys killed at least 44 people, including nine attackers. U.S. and Iraqi forces sought to clamp down on violence by imposing a strict curfew and seriously restricting traffic around polling places. About 300,000 Iraqi and American troops were on the streets and on standby to protect voters

 

They and we have the responsibility to vote and have a voice in how our country is run. God wants us to submit and vote.  Our government, as bad as it is, is wonderful compared to Nero whom Peter was telling the Christians to submit to.

 

Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. … 7  Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

 

If you pay taxes you should vote also. Taxes are mandatory voting is voluntary.

Which is easier? Less painful?

 

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Let me answer the question of “there is no authority except which God has established”

So God approves Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Dictators, Kings and a Representative Republic?  NO

God established authorities, government and people in rebellion pervert God’s purposes for government.

So what is the purpose of Government?  As Christians we should know and promote.  That is a reason we need to vote – we need elected servants to fulfill God’s purpose for Government.  That does not always mean Christian politicians, they may be confused on what the Bible teaches.

The Governments job is to Protect and Punish.

 

Protect

1 Timothy 2:1  I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4  who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

 

Government is to protect our right to “live peaceful and quiet lives” – We have a right to live in peace and safety.  So the government must protect us from foreign threats and criminal activity that is why we have a standing army and police.

When the government keeps us safe we will be able to share the truth and everyone will have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus.  We should be given “freedom of religion”.  Others have not had that yet the Gospel of Jesus still thrived – it just means that the cost is higher for us who are faithful.

 

Punish (1 Peter 2:13, 14)

Romans 13:3  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4  For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

 

God says Government is to protect and punish – we need to elect leaders who understand that fact.

 

(More info read Jack Cottrell’s article in The Restoration Herald, November 2016)

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If we don’t vote we allow others to direct our government away from protecting and punishing according to God’s will. In essence we are surrendering to evil.  That has become the problem.  We have not had enough strong Christian leaders in government for decades and America is losing its moral standing.  The government is punishing good and calling it evil and protecting “rights” that are not rights, but are sinful activity.

 

We can’t give up and give in.  When did God ever tell us to quit because the situation looked hopeless?

Who is in control? He wants to use you.  Just like He used Esther and Daniel and Ezra and …

Don’t make excuses not to participate in the process to direct our country.

Stand in the Gap and be a faithful Watchman

 

Ezekiel 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’ 7  “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

 

We are a Watchman.

Participating in our government is one way for us to be salt and light also.

 

Matthew 5:13  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

 

If I am going to vote who do I vote for. I overheard a conversation at a restaurant this week – “We are not going to win either way.”  That is the feeling this year because both candidates are morally corrupt.

 

The Proverb is true

Proverbs 29:2  When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.

 

That is why I voted for a political platform and not a person.

 

Video

 

What do the parties stand for and which party does your Christian faith align with?

I have been accused of being a one issue voter – so what!

Sanctity of life is the most important issue we face.  If any person can be killed for any reason at any time, then we live in Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia or Pol-Pot’s Cambodia. We live in America and we have a God given right to life.

 

I am a moral voter – I don’t want to see America continue to legalize sin after sin.

Someone’s morality is going to be legislated it may as well be mine. As a Christian living in a nation that was founded upon Godly principles and whose motto is “One Nation Under God” I should try to maintain that.

 

One way to do that is to vote and participate in our government. The other way is to live out our Christian life.

Be a good citizen – a good citizen of America and a good citizen of Heaven.

 

I am encouraging you to vote but I am telling you to put your trust in Jesus. Our hope is Jesus not in a political system or party.

 

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21  who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

 

Jesus is our King; He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16)

 

Don’t worry about the election results we are strangers on our way to Heaven (Matthew 6:25-34)

Worry is always wrong no matter what you are worrying over.

Trust God, turn your concerns over to Him. He is in control.

 

Philippians 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Instead of worrying we are told to pray and let God’s peace guard our hearts and minds.

Doesn’t that sound much better than worrying?

 

Jesus said,

Matthew 6:31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

How can you be a good citizen of Heaven?

Remember that you are a citizen of Heaven

Don’t worry but pray

Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness

Worship God by loving others

 

Let’s look at the context of Romans 13 – submit to authorities.

(Paul did not write in chapters) Romans 12 is telling us to be a living sacrifice

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

 

Then Paul tells us to submit to authorities and what role government plays in our live and then he says.

 

Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9  The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

Romans 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

 

Clothe yourself in Jesus so you will be a citizen of Heaven. Be a good citizen of Heaven by loving your neighbor.

 

Christian love one another – even when you are having a political discussion – You are Christians first even if you disagree.

 

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus will you consider coming today.

Do you believe God is real?  Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross?  Do you believe you are a sinner?  Are you willing to repent and be immersed?

That is when your sins will be forgiven and you are clothed with Jesus and receive the indwelling gift of God the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus loves you – will you accept His love today?